Commissioner Bud Selig characterized the Nationals' signing of No. 1 overall Draft pick Stephen Strasburg as "fair," and acknowledged an intention to pursue a hard "slotting" system for the First-Year Player Draft in the next round of collective bargaining, in a phone interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday.
"We live in an economic system where, if both sides think it's fair, then it's fair," Selig said when asked about Strasburg's record-setting $15.1 million contract with Washington. "I know it was a hard, tense, tough negotiation, and it's good for baseball and good for the Washington club to have him signed. I'm happy for them, and I hope it works out."
Additionally, Selig said the Lerner family that owns the team, "did what they had to do [to sign Strasburg]."
Also in the report, Selig said he had not finished analyzing all the data from this year's signing period and was not prepared to characterize its impact on the sport. He attempted to rein in spending this year by decreasing Major League Baseball's slot recommendations by 10 percent. However, this year's total spending by the 30 clubs was nearly identical to last year's -- roughly $160 million in rounds one through 10, according to Baseball America.
Baseball's current collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2011, and the report states league officials have made clear their intention to negotiate a cap on draftee bonuses in the next round of bargaining. Selig also said Major League Baseball would seek to subject international amateurs to the Draft.
"There's no question in my mind, in 2011, certainly a [hard] slotting system and a worldwide Draft are things we will be very aggressive in talking about," Selig said.
Incoming Players' Union chief Michael Weiner declined comment through a union spokesman but several players in leadership positions within the union have lobbied publicly for a cap on bonuses for draftees, the report said.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.